I took mine out and did not notice any ill effects. Mostly, after the car sat for a long time, the heat riser would stick shut and if you don't notice, you stand to burn all the paint off your intake passages.
Intake manifold heat is good for street-driven engines. It improves low-speed drivability, fuel economy, and reduces engine wear. Any carburetor tuning book recommends that it should remain functional.
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